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Dr. Gwendolyn Perry-Burney


  • B.S.W.: School of Social Work, Temple University
  • M.S.W.: School of Social Work, Temple University
  • Ph.D.: School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh
  • M.S.B.A.: Department of Business and Economics, California University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Perry-Burney served on the faculty at the University of Akron before coming to Cal U and taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels. She has experience teaching in distance-learning environments. She brings expertise in social work practice to the Cal U program and has particular interest in working with at-risk families in the community.

Dr. Perry-Burney was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but she feels just as comfortable catching airplanes to Egypt, Brazil, Ghana and the Caribbean as she does traveling back home for the holidays. Her close contact with other people groups makes her an amiable "glocalizer." She is a people-magnet who enjoys listening to students as she creates challenging curriculum and brings students to a cognitive acceptance of their social responsibilities beyond their local communities.

At Cal U, she is site director for the R. Benjamin Wiley Partnership Program, which brings 11th-grade inner-city high school students to Cal U for three weeks of simulated classes during the summer. She also is the program coordinator for the Westinghouse High School Science and Math Academy, which brings students in grades 9-11 to campus. She is the adviser for the NAACP College Chapter. She is the former project director for the U.S. Department of Education, Child Care Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant. She has numerous publications and professional presentations, both refereed and invited. She creates an electrifying classroom atmosphere by instigating the spirit of friendly competition among students. She challenges students to become renewable resources every week in class and outperform themselves in classroom participation, research and punctual, completed assignments.

Her current and past professional memberships are the Council of Social Work Education; the National Association of Black Social Workers; the U.S. Department of Education, CCAMPIS Program Directors; and the Social Work Advisory Board, Community College of Allegheny County. She is a member of the Frederick Douglass Institute and is a Research and Empirical Applications for Curriculum Enhancement in Social Work (REACH-SW) Evidence-based Master's Level Trainer. She received the Who's Who Among America's Teachers Award in 2004 and 2005.

Dr. Perry-Burney believes that each person should be a maximizer of the opportunities around him or her. Her goal is to be a rainmaker in her circle of influence and to help others succeed as well.


  • Generalist Practice I and II
  • Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • Human Diversity
  • Social Welfare Policy and Service
  • Policy and Program Design
  • First-year Practicum
  • Advanced Generalist Practice
  • Advanced Field Practicum I and II
  • Managed Care in Behavioral Health
  • Child Welfare
  • Community Planning and Organizing
  • African-American Child in Social Work Practice


Perry-Burney, G. (2007). "Poverty, Special Education and ADHD." Pp. 139-150 in Mental Health Care in the African-American Community, edited by Logan, S.W.L., co-editors, Denby, R.W., and Gibson, P.A. New York: Haworth Press.
  • Perry-Burney, G.D. (2006). Guiding the journey to collaborative work systems: A strategic design workbook, by Michael M. Beyerlein and Cheryl L. Harris. Journal of Administration in Social Work, 30, (2), 91-94.Book Review
  • Perry-Burney, G., and Jennings, A. (2003). Welfare to what? A policy agenda. Journal of Health & Social Policy, 16 (4), 85-99.
  • G. Faria and Perry-Burney, G. (2002). A technology-based MSW program. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 22 (3/4), 155-169.
  • Ortega, S., Mundy, E.J., and Perry-Burney, G. (2002). Methods and practical approaches for evaluating social service collaboratives: The evaluative coterie. Children and Youth Services Review,24 (6/7), 485-511.
  • Perry-Burney, G.D., and Takyi, B.K. (2002). Self-esteem, academic achievement and moral development among adolescent girls. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 5 (2), 15-27.
  • Perry-Burney, G. (2001). Safety of intensive in-home family workers. Family Preservation Journal, 5 (2), 43-52.

Professional Presentations and Consulting

  • Perry-Burney, G. D. Implementing Research and Empirical Applications for Curriculum Enhancement in Social Work (REACH: SW). Department of Social Work Conference. California University of Pennsylvania. November 2008. Keynote speaker. (Invited/Paper).
  • Perry-Burney, G.D.. African American Men and Prevention of Heart Disease: An Urban Focus Group Discussion. Conference on Social Work With and For Men. The University of Alabama School of Social Work. Birmingham, Ala. April 28-29, 2008. (Refereed/Paper).
  • Gibson, P.A., Valandra, and Perry-Burney, G.D. Study Abroad: a model for preparing faculty to conduct international courses. National Association of Social Workers, APM. San Francisco, Calif. October 29, 2007. (Refereed/Paper)
  • Perry-Burney, G. D. Cardiovascular Disease: Knowledge and Risk Among Urban Minorities. Society for Social Work and Research. New Orleans, La. Jan. 15-18, 2004 (Refereed/National). Poster

Research Interests

  • Welfare reform
  • Poverty
  • Health care
  • Community development

Service Learning Projects

  • Site director, R. Benjamin Wiley Partnership Program
  • Program coordinator, Westinghouse High School Science and Math Academy
  • Volunteer, Special Olympics, Baldwin High School
  • Coordinator, Angel Tree Prison Ministry for Mon Valley Area
  • Volunteer, Heart Walk, Washington, Pa.
  • Judge, Cal U vs. Lock Haven student debate
  • Facilitator, Deliberative Polling Initiative, Cal U
  • Founder/Facilitator, Sister-to-Sister for girls 12-18 years old, Donora, Pa.

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Social Work

Academic Program(s)

  • M.S.W. Social Work

Contact Information



Azorsky Hall 243


"The best part of my job, overwhelmingly, is getting to know students and seeing them enhance their intellectual commitment to the social work profession, and, especially, seeing them ‘think outside the box.'"

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